California Amends COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many people who continued to go to work across the state of California, as they held essential jobs. It is because of this that they had greater exposure to the virus. As a result, there were many individuals who became sick, thus accumulating medical bills and missing time at work. When the pandemic first began, this was not covered by workers’ compensation law. However, California Governor Newsom made changes to this. 

In May of this year, Governor Newsom issued an executive order which created a presumption that any COVID-19 related illness of an employee should be presumed to have come from their course of employment. This awarded them workers’ compensation benefits if certain conditions were met. However, this order expired in July. It is because of this that, on September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 1159. This would expand the definition of injury under workers’ compensation law to include illness or death resulting from COVID-19. 

Similar to the executive order that was issued prior, this bill creates a disputable presumption that COVID-19 illnesses arose out of the course of employment are compensable by law. It also makes a claim relating to COVID-19 illnesses presumptively compensable after 30 days or 45 days, rather than 90 days. In addition to this, the bill allows for the resumption of injury for those whose coworkers test positive for the virus. This presumption will stay in effect until January 1, 2023. 

The bill goes into effect immediately, due to its urgency.


If you have become the victim of an on the job injury, it may be beneficial to speak with an attorney and the doctor that is treating you to determine how to make the process as easy as possible. AllianceMeds understands that a workplace accident can be challenging and is here to help. We will deliver your medication to your door using overnight delivery and cover any out of pocket expenses that may arise. If you have any questions about how we can help, contact AllianceMeds today.